Van Hollen gets environmental settlement

Nick Rees Dec. 18, 2009, 11:23am

Van Hollen

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Allegations of violations of Wisconsin's environmental protection laws at two construction sites have been resolved by a settlement with two Kenosha companies and state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Regency Hills Development Corp., and JJD Mastercraft Builders Inc., both of Kenosha, were accused of the violations at construction sites in Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha County and Fredonia, Ozaukee County. The companies will pay $30,000 in forfeitures for the Pleasant Prairie violations. Regency Hills will pay an additional $200,000 in forfeitures, costs and fees in the Fredonia case.

Permits and implementation of best management practices are required by Wisconsin state law for land disturbance activities in, adjacent to or near wetlands and navigable waters. This ensures that water resources are protected from pollution caused by erosion and storm water runoff.

"Wisconsin law requires that developers and landowners properly manage construction sites to protect state waters," Van Hollen said. "The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's natural resources are protected through compliance with the law."

Regency Hills, the Fredonia complaint alleges, participated in land disturbance activities from late 2006-early 2007 that included grading, landscaping, erosion control and excavation at the Village Green development site. The work was part of the first 60 acre phase of the project and was performed without the required erosion control best management practices, resulting in sediment discharges into Sauk Creek, Fredonia Creek and adjacent wetlands.

Another contractor at that site charged with the same violations settled with the State for $85,000 in July.

The Pleasant Prairie complaint alleges that Regency Hills and JJD Mastercraft did not follow proper erosion control best management practices when they undertook land disturbance activities in 2005 at the Creekside Crossing development site. The work was part of the first 60 acre phase of the project and resulted in sediment discharge into Jerome Creek. The discharge also adversely affected the Des Plaines River.

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